Mower purchase considerations

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
User avatar
Topic Author
Earl Lemongrab
Posts: 7270
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2014 1:14 am

Mower purchase considerations

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Wed Apr 10, 2019 5:33 pm

Edit: Decision has been made. See below.
See recent update farther below.

The "kid" next door has finished his associate's degree at community college and moving into the workforce. That means he is retiring from mowing my lawn. As I'm retired from the workforce, I plan to take over that duty. However, I need to acquire a new mower.

After consideration, I have decided on an electric "corded" mower. This isn't really what I'm asking about. I have a modest suburban lawn with covered outdoor electric sockets in front and back. I currently do other lawn maintenance with electric tools. I will be getting a new high-current cord.

Rather, it's the more general questions. Like any other, electrics come in a variety of features. The front lawn is mostly zosyia. The back a more . . . eclectic mix of grass and some other stuff.

1. Width? Obviously, the wider the few passes. But the cost increases. What's a sensible target.

2. Self-propelled? The lawn isn't terribly sloped. I think I'd do okay and get better exercise with a regular, but thoughts on that would be appreciated.

3. Bagging? The kid always bagged, and I used cut grass for garden mulch and compost. I guess flexibility to mulch to the lawn or bag would be good.

4. Height adjustment? What range should I look for?
Last edited by Earl Lemongrab on Mon Jun 17, 2019 1:04 am, edited 2 times in total.

prd1982
Posts: 189
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2017 4:43 pm

Re: Mower purchase considerations

Post by prd1982 » Wed Apr 10, 2019 5:51 pm

I realize that I'm not answering your question, but I think you should get a battery-powered mower. The cord is a real pain to deal with. If you don't believe me, tie one end of a long power cord to a spreader and the other end to your electrical receptacle. Then walk around your yard acting as if you are cutting it. Count the number of times you curse.

I'm assuming your yard is about 1/4 acre. If you get to the 1/2 acre range, a gas powered mower is likely the right answer. In that case, you want self propelled.

mega317
Posts: 3060
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2016 10:55 am

Re: Mower purchase considerations

Post by mega317 » Wed Apr 10, 2019 6:16 pm

I have a 20" corded for a yard that I assume is smaller than yours. That's actually about the biggest I am seeing on Amazon and Home Depot, I thought it was more middle of the road. Dealing with the cord doesn't bother me at all. I previously had a battery mower and it would last barely long enough to do my whole small yard, and after about 2 years it wouldn't hold a charge at all. I like to bag, but I think most mowers are set up to do either.

This bad boy
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002Z ... UTF8&psc=1

User avatar
Mursili
Posts: 103
Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 8:32 pm

Re: Mower purchase considerations

Post by Mursili » Wed Apr 10, 2019 6:30 pm

It depends on your preference and where you live, but the longer you cut grass, the less water is required to keep it green. I live in a part of the country where there is too little water. If you live in a place replete with water, this may not matter.

In other words, the higher the cutter the better in my opinion.

Plus, I never bag the cuttings and leave them to nourish the lawn.
When it comes to havoc, no one wreaks like me! - Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz

User avatar
Topic Author
Earl Lemongrab
Posts: 7270
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2014 1:14 am

Re: Mower purchase considerations

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Wed Apr 10, 2019 7:03 pm

prd1982 wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 5:51 pm
I realize that I'm not answering your question, but I think you should get a battery-powered mower. The cord is a real pain to deal with. If you don't believe me, tie one end of a long power cord to a spreader and the other end to your electrical receptacle. Then walk around your yard acting as if you are cutting it. Count the number of times you curse.
As I said, I already use electric tools. I have a leaf vac, a trimmer, hedge trimmer. I do not plan on batteries.

User avatar
Topic Author
Earl Lemongrab
Posts: 7270
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2014 1:14 am

Re: Mower purchase considerations

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Wed Apr 10, 2019 7:05 pm

Mursili wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 6:30 pm
It depends on your preference and where you live, but the longer you cut grass, the less water is required to keep it green. I live in a part of the country where there is too little water. If you live in a place replete with water, this may not matter.

In other words, the higher the cutter the better in my opinion.

Plus, I never bag the cuttings and leave them to nourish the lawn.
I never water. The front zoysia just hunkers down in the drought and the back is so shady there's no real problem. That's one reason I don't want a service. The kid only mowed when it needed it, and I plan to do the same.

I'll use at least some of the cuttings for mulching the tomatoes. It works well for that.

User avatar
Topic Author
Earl Lemongrab
Posts: 7270
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2014 1:14 am

Re: Mower purchase considerations

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Wed Apr 10, 2019 7:07 pm

mega317 wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 6:16 pm
This bad boy
That's one that I was looking at. Greenworks is a big player. Sun Joe is another.

User avatar
Sandtrap
Posts: 8465
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:32 pm
Location: Hawaii No Ka Oi , N. Arizona

Re: Mower purchase considerations

Post by Sandtrap » Thu Apr 11, 2019 11:10 am

Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 5:33 pm
The "kid" next door has finished his associate's degree at community college and moving into the workforce. That means he is retiring from mowing my lawn. As I'm retired from the workforce, I plan to take over that duty. However, I need to acquire a new mower.

After consideration, I have decided on an electric "corded" mower. This isn't really what I'm asking about. I have a modest suburban lawn with covered outdoor electric sockets in front and back. I currently do other lawn maintenance with electric tools. I will be getting a new high-current cord.

Rather, it's the more general questions. Like any other, electrics come in a variety of features. The front lawn is mostly zosyia. The back a more . . . eclectic mix of grass and some other stuff.

1. Width? Obviously, the wider the few passes. But the cost increases. What's a sensible target.

2. Self-propelled? The lawn isn't terribly sloped. I think I'd do okay and get better exercise with a regular, but thoughts on that would be appreciated.

3. Bagging? The kid always bagged, and I used cut grass for garden mulch and compost. I guess flexibility to mulch to the lawn or bag would be good.

4. Height adjustment? What range should I look for?
How large is your lawn???
Wiki Bogleheads Wiki: Everything You Need to Know

User avatar
Topic Author
Earl Lemongrab
Posts: 7270
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2014 1:14 am

Re: Mower purchase considerations

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Thu Apr 11, 2019 1:50 pm

Sandtrap wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 11:10 am
How large is your lawn???
The back is about 70' wide by 50' deep. The front is smaller, but I don't have exact numbers.

User avatar
Topic Author
Earl Lemongrab
Posts: 7270
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2014 1:14 am

Re: Mower purchase considerations

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Sat Apr 13, 2019 2:53 pm

Wrap-up. I went with the GreenWorks mower mentioned above. It was consistently ranked well online. I also picked a new 15amp, 100ft extension cord. I think I spent more time researching that than the mower.

Just about time, the grass is waking up.

Trader Joe
Posts: 1257
Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2014 6:38 pm

Re: Mower purchase considerations

Post by Trader Joe » Sat Apr 13, 2019 4:02 pm

I would hire a lawn service. To each his own. Good luck.

User avatar
Topic Author
Earl Lemongrab
Posts: 7270
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2014 1:14 am

Re: Mower purchase considerations

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Sat Apr 13, 2019 4:07 pm

Trader Joe wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 4:02 pm
I would hire a lawn service. To each his own. Good luck.
I had a "service" before, the kid next door. The problem with most services is that they all want a contract and specific intervals and all that. I couldn't find one that would come and cut when I wanted it. I don't water, so when it's dry and hot the zoysia hunkers down and stops growing for a while.

So for now, I'm going to do it myself.

Hockey10
Posts: 613
Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2016 12:20 pm
Location: Philadelphia suburbs

Re: Mower purchase considerations

Post by Hockey10 » Sun Apr 14, 2019 1:17 pm

Earl,

Get a self-propelled Toro that mulches. Forget the bagging. With a good mulching mower, you don't need to bag any more. Mine is 21" for a lot that is about 1/3 acre.

By not bagging, you will have more time to watch your St. Louis Blues in the playoffs. :happy

User avatar
camillus
Posts: 600
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2013 9:55 pm

Re: Mower purchase considerations

Post by camillus » Sun Apr 14, 2019 1:31 pm

I have a corded mower. I also have the nicest lawn on the block.

Managing the cord is just a matter of learning the best pattern for your lawn. A corded mower is light enough to be pretty nimble. I often mow one handed and push the mower up a row and pull it down the next.

Nice choice.

User avatar
Topic Author
Earl Lemongrab
Posts: 7270
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2014 1:14 am

Re: Mower purchase considerations

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Sun Apr 14, 2019 2:02 pm

Hockey10 wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 1:17 pm
Earl,

Get a self-propelled Toro that mulches. Forget the bagging. With a good mulching mower, you don't need to bag any more. Mine is 21" for a lot that is about 1/3 acre.

By not bagging, you will have more time to watch your St. Louis Blues in the playoffs. :happy
The one I ordered is a "three way", meaning bag, side discharge, or mulch. I will probably do a combination. I like some grass for the compost pile and to mulch the tomatoes.

Quickfoot
Posts: 1166
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:03 pm

Re: Mower purchase considerations

Post by Quickfoot » Sun Apr 14, 2019 2:33 pm

Not a fan of self propelled mowers, it adds weight and diverts power from the mower to the wheels to propel itself. If weight is an issue consider going battery powered, about a 50% weight reduction.

I actually just replaced my 6.5 HP push mower with an 80V battery powered mower with single lever height adjustment (no more making sure all the wheels are on the same notch). https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B019V ... UTF8&psc=1

The benefits are:

#1 About 50% quieter than a gas powered mower

#2 No gas or oil which means no emissions and also can hang it on the wall. You can also flip it over on its side without worrying about causing damage or leaking oil or gas.

#3 About 50% lighter than a normal mower

#4 Push button start (some gas mowers do have this)

I'm moving entirely to battery powered lawn care devices, electric motors at 80v have comparable power to gas equipment and with quick charge technology if you need to switch batteries you have no downtime.
Last edited by Quickfoot on Sun Apr 14, 2019 2:38 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Quickfoot
Posts: 1166
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:03 pm

Re: Mower purchase considerations

Post by Quickfoot » Sun Apr 14, 2019 2:35 pm

Hockey10 wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 1:17 pm
Earl,

Get a self-propelled Toro that mulches. Forget the bagging. With a good mulching mower, you don't need to bag any more. Mine is 21" for a lot that is about 1/3 acre.

By not bagging, you will have more time to watch your St. Louis Blues in the playoffs. :happy
Not bagging is also healthier for the lawn, it allows the clippings to decompose and deposit nutrients back into the soil.

User avatar
Topic Author
Earl Lemongrab
Posts: 7270
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2014 1:14 am

Re: Mower purchase considerations

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Sun Apr 21, 2019 12:56 pm

Mower arrived today. I'll finish assembly and give it a whirl in the later evening when the sun is on the other side of the house. During the time I was deciding, a discount was applied and the mower with extra blade price became $136.50 instead of >$200. Who can figure Amazon? Ended up a really good deal.

Steven in NC
Posts: 110
Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2014 7:43 am

Re: Mower purchase considerations

Post by Steven in NC » Sun Apr 21, 2019 5:15 pm

Realize you have decided but for future consideration and if physical condition allows - consider a fully manual/no engine (reel) push mower. Many benefits such as no oil, gas smells, can do it early / late without offending neighbors and the exercise is a nice bonus.

User avatar
Topic Author
Earl Lemongrab
Posts: 7270
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2014 1:14 am

Re: Mower purchase considerations

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Sun Apr 21, 2019 11:32 pm

Steven in NC wrote:
Sun Apr 21, 2019 5:15 pm
Realize you have decided but for future consideration and if physical condition allows - consider a fully manual/no engine (reel) push mower. Many benefits such as no oil, gas smells, can do it early / late without offending neighbors and the exercise is a nice bonus.
I have two of those with the electric and the latest I realistically mow is like 7pm or so. I don't think that's a problem. I don't get up early.

dsmil
Posts: 664
Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2009 10:51 am

Re: Mower purchase considerations

Post by dsmil » Mon Apr 22, 2019 9:54 am

I have the same one that you just purchased and have been happy. The cord will always be annoying, but it will get less annoying over time. When I needed to buy lawn equipment, I decided to go with all corded models because I didn't want to deal with gasoline, and the price point was much cheaper than batteries. I always use the mulch function because I've read that it's good for the lawn. I also use the mulch function to go over leaves in the fall, which has definitely decreased the amount of raking necessary. It seems like comparable battery powered mowers are 3-4x the price, so it's hard to go wrong with this one.

bloom2708
Posts: 6952
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:08 pm
Location: Fargo, ND

Re: Mower purchase considerations

Post by bloom2708 » Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:19 am

This Snapper 82v is tempting me:

https://www.amazon.com/Snapper-SXDWM82K ... way&sr=8-2

My experience with battery products is up and down.

With 2 batteries, this one may have enough snort to do justice. I would like the no gas/no oi/store upright/quieter operation.
"People want confirmation, not advice" Unknown | "We are here to provoke thoughtfulness, not agree with you" Unknown | Four words. Whole food, plant based. Bing it.

User avatar
Topic Author
Earl Lemongrab
Posts: 7270
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2014 1:14 am

Re: Mower purchase considerations

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:58 am

^^^ Near $500! Not for me.

bloom2708
Posts: 6952
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:08 pm
Location: Fargo, ND

Re: Mower purchase considerations

Post by bloom2708 » Mon Apr 22, 2019 12:01 pm

Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:58 am
^^^ Near $500! Not for me.
I understand. The equivalent (not base model) gas version is probably close to that price now.

You always have plenty of power with a corded one like you bought. You just have the cord to deal with.

My larger yard takes me about 50 minutes to mow. A cord would not work. I would need a good 1 hour of run time to be confident it would finish. The 80v and 82v seem to be able to do that. The batteries (Snapper 82v are $200+ each). So, Mower $300 and 2 batteries with charger $200. A decent deal with the cost of 1 battery.

Well within reasonable for a gas mower. But, still a lot of money. I will stick with my gas mower.
"People want confirmation, not advice" Unknown | "We are here to provoke thoughtfulness, not agree with you" Unknown | Four words. Whole food, plant based. Bing it.

User avatar
Topic Author
Earl Lemongrab
Posts: 7270
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2014 1:14 am

Re: Mower purchase considerations

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Mon Jun 17, 2019 1:03 am

So, everybody likes updates. I have used the new electric plug-in mower several times on the front and fewer times in the back. I mowed with the bagger attachment the first few times because I use cut grass for mulch on the tomatoes and some to get the compost pile going.

We had an electric when I was a kid, so I had some experience. The cord plugs into the outdoor outlets on the side of the house. I mow parallel to the front of the house, moving towards the street. This keeps the cord on the cut area of the lawn. There a clip that holds the cord on the center crossbar of the handle, so it slides back and forth (sometimes it needs a nudge, I'll work on that). It didn't take long to get into the rhythm. At the end of a row, before turning, I grab the cord with the hand closest and pull a bit to get some slack for the turn.

It's worked out very well. No maintenance, easy start, cord management pretty simple. I'm satisfied with this decision.

Post Reply